One of the biggest mysteries I've ever known in this world is this: the unparalleled, sometimes undeserved power fathers have over their children's hearts. Of course, being a daughter, I've been more sensitive to the heartbreaking power of fathers on daughters, but for sure it works both ways (sons too).
I have to admit. For many years, this made me mad at times. Though I feel like I've done pretty well to overcome my own heartbreaks and disappointments (which took several years of work), I've seen so many young people's lives ruined by dysfunctional fathers (of course I'm not picking on all dads here, there are many great dads who have an amazing influence on their children). Sure, mothers have an effect too, but from my observations, fathers seem to have an even deeper soul tie to their children–in some cases this is good, in other cases it ranges from disappointing all the way to devastating.
Is this new? In Malachi 4:6 we find this has been a phenomenon since the early days: He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers…
Why, I have often wondered. Why did God make us with such a powerful bond that so many of us cannot detach from the pain, rejection, and control of dysfunctional fathers? Life would be so much easier if we could walk away in one piece, if our friends and loved ones could walk away in one piece, instead of having lives and relationships ruined by the influence and power of certain selfish, stubborn, emotionally bankrupt dads.
Recently, I feel as if I came to an understanding about this. Yes, some of our earthly fathers may disappoint, abandon, reject, and hurt us. But this deep soul connection we have to them is a vital capacity in our ability to accept a Heavenly Father's love. This is why we still have a "father connection" engraved so deeply in our hearts.
If we could give up needing our earthly father, we could give up on needing our Heavenly Father.
If we could go on easily without our father's approval, we could more easily accept not caring about our Father's approval.
If we didn't have so many hurts left behind by a father who disappoints, we would not feel the desperate need for a Father who won't disappoint or let us down.
In order for us to be able to gravitate to a true Father's love, acceptance, wholeness, and tenderness, we cannot lose our ability—ever—to crave it. But at some point, we must all recognize this innate need, built into our very DNA. And we must respond to it.
And that is why we have an indelible, irrepressible, undeniable yearning for a Father's love and approval. May it never go away or even give us relief for a day, until we find the Father for whom we really search.
Art photo compliments of a very talented Stephanie.